Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Peter Jaffe

Abstract

Abstract

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that occurs through technological means, such as social networking, and instant messaging, among others. It can be constant, and at other times may occur in isolated incidents, but despite the timeline of progression, some scholars argue that the effects are almost always catastrophic (Kowalski, Limber, & Agatston, 2012). The present study examined the behavioural characteristics of cyberbullying victimization and perpetration, along with help seeking behaviours and reporting likelihood amongst adolescents in southwestern Ontario. A mixed methodology was utilized. Quantitative secondary data from a large scale survey completed by a school board in southwestern Ontario of 16, 145 participants was analyzed, and qualitative data from semi-structured focus groups, including 112 participants, was also collected. Results indicated a clear trend for gender differences between each experience, females were more likely to be victimized than males, however males were more likely to perpetrate. An overlap between both roles was evident and females were more likely to perpetrate and be victimized than their male counterparts. Retaliation and revenge were major themes for cyberbullying perpetration and role overlap. In the qualitative study, participants were more likely to report experiences to their peers than any other reporting source. Implications for future research and cyberbullying prevention strategies are explored further.

Keywords: cyberbullying, bullying, adolescents, perpetration, victimization, reporting likelihood, help seeking, mixed methodology, gender


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